Whether athletically or academically, Wally Marciel brought a lot of promise to the University of Kansas campus in the fall of 2006.
Five years, and one Tommy John surgery later, the left-hander has still managed to leave his mark on the Jayhawks program, and will likely finish his career in the top 10 in wins in school history.
The 2006 ‘Iolani graduate has been a star in the classroom, reeling in three Big 12 Commissioner and Athletic Director Honor Roll awards. He was also named the Jayhawk Scholar to wrap up his freshman year.
On the field, it’s been more of the same. He was selected to the Ping! Baseball All-Freshman second team his first season and has 15 career wins, including at least five this season for the first time since he was a freshman.
It hasn’t been an entirely smooth ride for Marciel, who was drafted in the 36th round of the 2006 MLB First-Year Player Draft by Tampa Bay.
He had Tommy John surgery midway through the 2008 season, which forced him to miss the rest of that year and all of 2009. He was granted a medical hardship to return for a fifth year, where he’s 5-3 with a 3.94 ERA.
PROFILE: WALLY MARCIEL
>> School: Kansas
Marciel has appeared in 15 games and made seven starts his senior season, holding opponents to a .269 average and striking out 27 in 452⁄3 innings.
The Jayhawks have started to hit their stride in recent weeks, winning 10 of their past 17 games to move within a game of .500 at 20-21 overall.
Kansas has an RPI of 61 after beating No. 4 Texas 4-2 on Saturday.
Marciel is one of two Jayhawks from Hawaii. Freshman Kaiana Eldredge, a 2010 Punahou graduate, plays second base and catcher and has appeared in 35 games, hitting .210 with six doubles and 14 RBIs.
Kansas is currently fifth in the Big 12 at 9-9 overall as it fights to secure an NCAA tournament berth. Seven of its final nine regular-season conference games are on the road.